Chief Procurement Officers meet in New York for 2016 annual conference

The 2016 conference of the Chief Procurement Officers (CPOs) of the UN Secretariat was held in New York from 31 May to 3 June 2016.

Participants included UN procurement professionals from Field Missions, Procurement Division at Headquarters, Offices Away from Headquarters, Regional Commissions, as well as Tribunals. Although assigned to different locations around the world, the CPOs have been working closely together to achieve a streamlined UN procurement process facilitated by the Umoja solution. The conference provided participants with an opportunity for face-to-face discussions on several key topics such as the sharing of best practices and lessons-learned in using Umoja. It also offered an opportunity to present proposals for areas of further improvement to the procurement processes and to brainstorm and arrive at resolutions to address challenges and issues. 

In the midst of several upcoming changes in the strategic initiatives in the Secretariat which impact the procurement community, the conference agenda included diverse topics and representatives from key stakeholders including DFS, OCSS, OLA, OPPBA, Umoja, Audit, and GSDM participated through conducting specific sessions or engaging in forum discussions with the CPOs.

One and a half days were dedicated to Umoja related discussions and updates. The CPOs were able to exchange tips and solutions to common issues along with ideas for system improvements and support. Participants were also briefed on progress being made in the development of a new Global Service Delivery Model.

Effective and focused thematic discussions were held among CPOs from Field Missions covering relevant topics such as Acquisition Planning for 2016/17, and Supply Chain Management, while CPOs from the OAHs, Regional Commissions, and Tribunals took part in an open forum with PD Headquarters Procurement staff.

By the end of the conference, participants returned to their respective duty stations equipped with some of the latest best practices. An on-line platform for the UN Procurement Community has been set up in Unite Connections to enable UN Procurement officials to collaborate and share experiences more seamlessly in a moderated forum environment.